The popular town of Stratford upon Avon is often referred to as Shakespeare Country, with a large number of its top tourist attractions being related to its most famous past resident, William Shakespeare. These particular attractions include the Royal Shakespeare Theatre itself, and also the childhood home of the bard's wife, Anne Hathaway's Cottage. Apart from Stratford upon Avon's Shakespeare attractions, the town is also home to a racecourse, public gardens, various walking trails and boating trips on the River Avon, which winds its way through the town.
Families holidaying in Stratford upon Avon will appreciate spending time at the town's very own Butterfly Farm, at the Falstaff Experience, or at the nearby Broadway Tower Country Park, which really is just a short drive away. Anne Hathaway's Cottage Address: 192 Alcester Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9HH, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 204 016 The historic home where the wife of William Shakespeare, Anne Hathaway grew up. One of the main attractions owned by the town's Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Anne Hathaway's Cottage draws tourists from far and wide, who come to appreciate the authentic period furnishings and antiquities, award-winning English garden and neighbouring independent tea room.
Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a truly picture-postcard farmhouse, complete with a half-timbered facade and sweeping thatched roof. Open hours: April, May, September and October, Monday to Saturday - 09:30 to 17:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00; June to August, Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 09:30 to 17:00; November to March, daily - 10:00 to 16:00 Admission: charge, discounts for children and families, children five years old and under are free Avon Boating Address: Avon Boating, Swan's Nest Boathouse, Swan's Nest Lane, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 7LS, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 267 073 Address: Bancroft Cruisers, Stratford Moat House, 1 Warwick Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6YR, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 269 669 Sightseeing in Stratford simply couldn't be more pleasant than taking a trip down the River Avon on a sunny afternoon.
A variety of different vessels are available to choose from, including both punts and rowing boats, as well as Edwardian-style passenger boats offering 30-minute cruises. Prices are inexpensive and during the summer, a number of additional packages may be on offer, including extended cruises with buffets. Open hours: daily - seasonal variations Admission: charge, discounts for children Bancroft Gardens Address: Bridgefoot, Stratford upon Avon, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 293 127 Providing much respite and peaceful surroundings, the Bancroft Gardens regularly attract local families, who bring their children here to feed the ducks and see the brightly coloured narrow boats in the canal basin.
During the summer, a number of outdoor attractions are staged here, with street entertainers regularly basing themselves in the park. Both the Gower Memorial and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre are close by and just a short stroll away. Open hours: daily Admission: free Broadway Tower Country Park Address: High Street, Broadway, WR12 7DT, England, UK Located on the very outskirts of Broadway and just a short drive from Stratford, the popular Broadway Tower Country Park is known for its stunning views across more than ten different counties.
On a fine day, the panoramas stretch as far as the Welsh Black Mountains and beyond, while other attractions include exhibitions, an enclosure of red deer, a petting farm and extensive play areas for younger visitors, and pleasant picnic areas. Refreshments are available at the Rookery Barn Restaurant, an attractive building, which dates from the 16th century.
Open hours: April to October, daily - 10:30 to 17:00; November to March, Saturday and Sunday - 11:00 to 15:00 Admission: charge, discounts for families and children, annual 'passport' tickets are available Butterfly Farm Address: Stratford Moat House Wharf, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 7LS, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 299 288 The biggest butterfly attraction in the whole of Europe, the Stratford upon Avon Butterfly Farm is certainly worth looking out for and offers a pleasant alternative to the town's multitude of Shakespeare sights and houses.
Many hundreds of large, colourful and exotic butterflies are housed within the tropical Butterfly Farm in a spacious landscaped enclosure, together with caterpillars and pupae, stick insects, large spiders and other similar creatures in 'Arachnoland'. The Papillon gift shop is on hand and sells a variety of butterfly-related souvenirs. Open hours: daily, April to October - 10:00 to 18:00; November to March - 10:00 to dusk Admission: charge, discounts for children and families, children three years old and under are free Cox's Yard Address: 19 Warwick Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6YY, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 404 600 Formerly a medieval timber yard, Cox's Yard has been transformed in recent years and now functions as a leading entertainment venue and complex.
Onsite, visitors will find tea rooms, a traditional English public house, comedy gigs, live music events and the 'Stratford Tales' attraction, where audio-visual presentations and hands-on activities clearly offer a taster of the town's rich and vibrant past. Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 23:00 Admission: charge for some onsite attractions and events Falstaff Experience Address: Old Red Lion Court, Sheep Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6EE, England, UK Tel: +44 0870 350 2770 The Falstaff Experience is often referred to as the Museum of the Dark History of Stratford and serves as the town's biggest museum, with strong, historic connections to Shakespeare.
As you enter the grounds of this grand 16th-century Shrieve's House complex you will be greeted by staff dressed in period costumes. Expect to find punishment stocks, waxworks, a cobblestone courtyard, reconstructions of old cottages, a small theatre, paintings, gift shop and even overnight 'paranormal vigils'.
Open hours: daily - 10:30 to 17:30 Admission: charge Guide Friday Tours Address: 42 Rother Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6LU, England, UK If you are short of time or simply want to get your bearings, then a ride onboard the Guide Friday Tours double decker bus will be sure to please. Passengers will be able to ride around the town in comfort, passing the main Shakespearean tourist attractions whilst listening to informative commentary.
Guide Friday Tours feature a 'hop-on / hop -off' facility, allowing passengers to step off at any of the chosen sites, and then catch the next bus, which is never far behind. Open hours: daily - departing at regular intervals (15 to 30 minutes) Admission: charge Royal Shakespeare Theatre Address: 1 Bridge Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6BB, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 403 444 One of the town's biggest tourists attractions, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is the number one reason why so many visitors come to Stratford upon Avon each year.
Rebuilt in the early 1930s after fire damaged the previous late-19th century theatre, the current Royal Shakespeare Theatre offers audiences a chance to enjoy authentic Shakespeare performances by the Royal Shakespeare Society (RSC) in one of the country's most prominent theatrical venues.
A recent project has seen major changes to the auditorium, resulting in the audience being brought closer to the actual stage. The temporary Courtyard Theatre was created at this time, with David Tennant performing Hamlet here. Open hours: hours vary according to performance Admission: charge Shakespeare County Raceway Address: Alcester Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9DP, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 720 180 For something quite different, pay a visit to the Shakespeare County Raceway and enjoy the variety of motorsports on offer here.
Always popular at the Shakespeare County Raceway is the drag racing and exciting motorbike races, while other seasonal events are often staged here, including the annual Bulldog Bash Bike Festival, Hot Rod Drags and a number of Public Track Days. Open hours: April to November - hours vary Admission: charge Walking Trails Address: Shakespeare Heritage Trail, 8 Wood Street, Henley Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6QW, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 204 016 Address: Stratford Town Walk, The End, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 8JB, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 292 478 Address: Stratford Town Ghost Walk, The End, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 8JB, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 292 478 Walking tours of the town are not to be missed, with self-guided routes allowing visitors to sightsee at their own pace and time.
The Shakespeare Heritage Trail departs from the Shakespeare Centre on Henley Street and takes in many historical attractions along the way, including a number relating to the bard himself. Those feeling brave enough may like to consider joining the evening award-winning Stratford Town Ghost Walk at the Swan Fountain, where you will learn about local hauntings and ghost tales. Open hours: daily Admission: charge, discounts for seniors and children Stratford upon Avon Canal Address: Chapel Street, Stratford Basin, Stratford upon Avon, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 260 616 When it was completed over 200 years ago, the Stratford upon Avon Canal truly was something of a feat of engineering and has grown to become an integral asset of the town's rich heritage.
Many tourists visiting the town will enjoy a walk along the canal pathway, where much wildlife has colonised over the years. The Stratford upon Avon Canal emerges from the Bancroft Gardens and stretches for just over 40 km / 25 miles, before finally reaching the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.
Open hours: daily Admission: free Stratford upon Avon Racecourse Address: Luddington Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9SE, England, UK Tel: +44 01789 267 949 The Stratford Racecourse is surprisingly historic and actually dates back almost two and a half centuries, with steeplechase racing often taking place here in the latter part of the 18th century.
Horse races are always a major event in town, with around 15 taking place each year and reliably drawing large crowds of excited spectators, who often bring extravagant picnics. Open hours: March to December - seasonal variations Admission: charge
best dating stratford upon avon afternoon tea boat - Indulge in Afternoon Tea in Stratford
Treat yourself and a guest to an afternoon of one of the finest of British traditions in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon, and take a relaxed sightseeing tour with this Afternoon Tea and River Cruise for Two in Historic Stratford-upon-Avon. With its charm and contemporary styling, The Arden Hotel is perfect for an afternoon treat. You’ll be served a selection of sandwiches to start your afternoon tea, before moving on to cakes, pastries, sweets and homemade fruit scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
There’s a selection of teas and infusions to enjoy too so you can choose your perfect food and brew pairing, the ideal accompaniment to an afternoon of tasty delights.
Hop aboard a traditional vessel for a relaxed sightseeing tour, cruise downstream past the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church (the site of Shakespeare’s tomb), before turning around and passing under the 15th century Clopton Bridge.
Audio tours are available for you to learn more about the sights and sounds of the Avon as you go. What's Included? • A traditional afternoon tea for two at The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon • Take a relaxed cruise of the River Avon with Avon Boating Ltd • Pass by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church • Head back upstream under the historic Clopton Bridge • Audio guides available to discover more • Experience gift pack including personalised voucher and message card • Cancellation indemnity What happens on the day?
On arrival at The Arden Hotel you’ll be warmly greeted by a member of staff and shown through to the lounge. With menus in hand you can peruse the tea and infusion selection to find your ideal warming brew, and when you’ve decided you’ll be served your delicious afternoon tea on a tiered stand along with your chosen drink for an hour or two of British tradition.
The river cruise departs from the moorings at Bancroft Gardens. Trips commence 11am and run every 20 to 30 minutes subsequently. Simply present your voucher to the crew from Avon Boating Ltd for entry to the cruise. The trip lasts for 40 minutes and includes a cruise downstream past the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church, before turning around and heading upstream under the 15th century Clopton Bridge into the countryside.
The cruise then returns to the moorings on Bancroft Gardens where you’ll disembark Validity Availability Your voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. Afternoon Tea at The Arden Hotel Available seven days a week. Date restrictions may apply. We recommend you book at least four weeks in advance to ensure that dates are available. All bookings are subject to availability. River Sightseeing Cruise The season runs seven days a week from 1 April to 31 October, with trips commencing at 10.30 and running every 20 to 30 minutes.
Exclusions include 26 October 2018. Please allow approximately 1 hour 30 minutes for the afternoon tea, with an additional 40 minutes to enjoy the River Cruise.
What about insurance? The centres contracted with us hold public liability insurance. We also hold contingency liability cover. You will not be liable for accidental damage to equipment, except where damage has been caused as a result of recklessness or wilful negligence. A cancellation indemnity, subject to terms, is included with every voucher. How it works All you have to do is pay for the experience you wish to purchase and we’ll send a voucher and booking information to you or directly to the recipient, then you just need to check the info and book your experience.
Packaging and Delivery Please see the following page for information on our . All images shown are for illustration purpose only, actual product may vary from images shown.
River Cruise was excellent. We do a lot of Afternoon Teas and this is the worst one I have been to. This was a gift and we travelled a long way and spent 2 nights in a hotel. 3 fingers of sandwiches, one scone with raspberry jam and cream. 3 small cakes. The chocolate tart was good. Others disappointing and difficult to eat as we were sat on sofa.
Service was very poor. Prossecco was £35.20 a bottle. We had to get up and ask for our tea. Very dissappointing. Would not recommend Katie 04 June 2018 Reply from Victoria @ FiveStarDays.comin reply to Katie Hey Maureen. We sincerely apologise that the experience failed to meet your expectations on this occasion, and I would like to reassure you that we take all customer feedback seriously to ensure that our services are delivered to the highest standard that we would expect to see or our customers.
Victoria @ FiveStarDays.com
Stratford-upon-Avon is wildly popular with visitors. And no wonder - it has a lot to recommend it. But you need to plan your visit carefully and do your research or you could be disappointed.
These tips will point you in the right direction for making the most of your trip. Blame Shakespeare Some of what's on offer in Stratford-upon-Avon just reinforces out-of-date stereotypes about the UK. Visitors who are not careful and selective could find a level of bad service, unappealing food and tired, overpriced accommodations that more customer-oriented English towns left behind decades ago.
Blame the Bard. The lure of Shakespeare's birthplace is undoubtedly responsible for both what's good and what's bad about this market town. There's no denying that it's a "must visit" place for anyone interested in literature, theater, western culture and English history. But it is also a place where sheer volume has allowed some local innkeepers and restaurateurs, to take visitors for granted.
It's a case of separating the good and the bad while steering clear of the greedy. The Good • Picturesque, 15th to 17th-century architecture - half-timbered buildings, thatched roofs - have been preserved in pristine condition because the town has been attracting visitors almost since Shakespeare died.
Check out the guest book in the and you'll see that Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys, even Benjamin Franklin, have visited. • was founded here in Victorian times. It is a genuine treasure of world culture and a terrific place to see a play. In 2010, the theater underwent a major renovation project making it even more of a pleasure to visit.
• , founded in the 19th century, has turned five Shakespeare houses into outstanding visitor attractions. • • Shakespeare's Birthplace • • Mary Arden's House • The Nash House and New Place • - Several local companies offer short, daytime cruises and lunch cruises for a pleasant way to escape the crowds and see Shakespeare's home town from a different perspective.
Check out and (who operate traditional Edwardian passenger launches) for their schedules and prices. Stratford-upon-Avon - The Bad Shakespeare also attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. They've been coming for hundreds of years - and they come regardless of the quality of much of what they find.
For some, the captive audience is a license for lack of effort. As a result: • Hotel accommodation within the town can be second rate, tired and over priced. • It is hard, though not impossible, to find fairly priced, good quality meals.For a town with so many visitors ready and willing to spend money, there are, surprisingly, no really notable restaurants.
• A few locally promoted "attractions" - involving hauntings, costumed interpreters, and dioramas - are hardly worthy of a substandard theme park.
Fortunately, there are fewer of these attractions than there used to be. • On national holidays, school vacations and all summer long, the crowds are astounding. Top 7 Ways to Avoid the Pitfalls It is still really worth visiting Stratford-upon-Avon for a day or two. Just keep these pointers in mind: • Avoid the obvious.
Don't look for good food or great rooms in the prettiest half-timbered buildings - unless someone has specifically recommended them to you. They've been trading on their good looks for years. We were recently served the worst afternoon tea we'd ever had in England in one such place - badly cut sandwiches made of dried out ham, stale cakes.
And, to add insult to injury, it was expensive. Sign up for our daily tips to make your best vacation. • Avoid and school vacations when every school child in the UK, France, and Germany is on a school or family trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. The Waterside area gets as crowded as Times Square on New Year's Eve. • Skip "attractions" that are clearly hyped for tourists. "Shakespearience" is one that's worth a miss.
And we didn't find much to recommend about "Tudor World". Save your money and spend it across the road on an production instead. • Ask a local. Local people go out for meals and drinks too. Find out the places they like. The clerk in the wine store directed me to a trendy cocktail bar in, of all place, the Holiday Inn. • Avoid restaurants that look "fancy". They are likely to be expensive and pretentious.
Nothing is worse than being served mutton presented as lamb. When it comes to food and drink, the simpler the better in Stratford-upon-Avon. • If you stay in town, go for simpler in accommodations too.
Within the town limits, an unpretentious B&B will probably be friendlier, more comfortable and better value for money than the mid-priced hotels. If you prefer hotels, , across the street from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the , not far away and on the river, are good choices. • Try staying just outside the town. A few country house hotels on the fringes of Stratford-upon-Avon are very charming. And, depending on the time of year, pretty good value too. We can recommend the on an 18-hole golf course, with a lovely spa and some gorgeous feature rooms.
Stratford Upon Avon England River Views